Clark County rugby teams open with wins

Four of five area teams get victories last weekend

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

The Oregon Youth Rugby high school season got off to a winning start on Saturday for four of the five boys teams from Clark County.

The Battle Ground Bulls opened with a win over defending state champion and traditional power Reynolds.

The Clark County Warriors Red defeated Beaverton 24-0. The Warriors Black, a new second team for the Clark County Club, lost to West Linn.

The Prairie Wolf Pack beat Oregon City 15-5.

Union, a first-year team, beat Newberg 15-5.

Battle Ground, Prairie and Union draw all of their players from one high school and play in the Rugby Oregon Varsity Premiership, a division that has 10 teams from the Portland-Vancouver area.

The Clark County Warriors draw players from multiple schools and play in the Rugby Oregon Club Championship, a division that includes 10 teams from across Oregon in addition to the two Clark County squads.

Also on Saturday, the Battle Ground girls rugby team opened by playing Reynolds to a draw.

Below are match recaps. To learn about high school rugby, visit www.rugbyoregon.com.

Battle Ground 29, Reynolds 12 -- Battle Ground captain Ben Wheeler led the way, scoring three five-point tries for the Bulls in the match at Laurin Middle School. Mikhail Esse and John McMahon each scored one try for Battle Ground. Quinten Martinez kicked two conversions. On March 15, Battle Ground plays Lincoln at 10:30 a.m. at Delta Park.

Prairie 15, Oregon City 5 -- Rookies Jordan Marti and William Prestwich both score tries in their league debut, helping Prairie win in muddy conditions at Laurin Middle School.

Prairie coach John Fletcher said Alex Craft and Adam Ayale were strong carrying the ball, and that Aaron Jacques was a stand out with his tackling.

Prairie hosts Reynolds next Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Laurin Middle School.

Union 19, Newberg 14 -- In its debut match, Union titans Rugby Club rallied in the second half for the win at Newberg, Ore. Brendon Curle scored two tries and added two conversions to account for 14 points and was named Union's man of the match. Aaron Anderson also scored a try for the Titans.

Newberg led 14-12 at halftime but was blanked in the second half.

Union coach David Curle noted that the average age of his roster is younger than 16.

This Saturday Union takes on Lakeridge at 9 a.m. at Delta Park in north Portland.

Clark County Warriors Red 24, Beaverton 0 -- Michael DiGenova scored two tries and Warriors Red played tough defense throughout to win in Beaverton. Justin Straup and Jason Vailea also scored tries, and Jessie Kiesser added two conversion kicks.

DeGenova scored on one run of more than 80 yards and on an interception.

Warriors Red play at 1:30 p.m. on March 15 at Delta park in north Portland against North Clackamas.

Clark County Warriors Black -- A team of mostly first-year players lost its first match to an experienced West Linn team. The Warriors played with only 13 players, instead of a full lineup of 15. Warriors Black travel to Pendleton, Ore for a 1 p.m. match on March 15.

Battle Ground girls 5, Reynolds 5 -- Morgan Gerhke scored the lone try for Battle Ground in the season-opener at Laurin Middle School. With several players injured, the Bulls played with only 14 girls instead of 15. Coach Troy Fallon said the team, which can draw players from any Clark County high school, is still looking for players. The team currently has players from Battle Ground, Prairie, La Center, Union and Heritage high schools.

To learn more, visit www.rugbyoregon.com, or send an e-mail to Fallon at tro.fallon@me.com.